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What’s in the pipeline? Drugs in development for autism spectrum disorder

Authors Sung M, Chin CH, Lim CG, Liew HSA, Lim CS, Kashala E, Weng SJ

Received 17 October 2013

Accepted for publication 4 December 2013

Published 20 February 2014 Volume 2014:10 Pages 371—381

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S39516

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Min Sung,1 Chee Hon Chin,1 Choon Guan Lim,1 Hwee Sen Alvin Liew,1 Chau Sian Lim,2 Espérance Kashala,1 Shih-Jen Weng1

1Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Institute of Mental Health, Singapore; 2Department of Psychological Medicine, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Singapore

Abstract: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder with both core symptoms and associated symptoms (eg, irritability, aggression, and comorbidities) that affect both the individual and the family/systems around them. There have been recent advances in the understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of ASD pertaining to genetics, epigenetics, neurological, hormonal, and environmental factors that contribute to the difficulties found in individuals with ASD. With this improved understanding, there has been a shift in the application of psychopharmacology in ASD and its related disorders. A literature review was conducted to examine research published in the last 5 years between different classes of psychotropic medications and ASD. The broad scope of the existing literature for the use of conventional medications is summarized and novel medications are discussed.

Keywords: pharmacology, treatment, autism, Asperger’s syndrome, medication

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